Home maintenance is part of every homeowner's life. In a brand-new home, you shouldn’t have to make any repairs for a long time, but you probably want to have a set of tools on hand for small projects or to maintain high traffic areas in your home. We’ve put together a list of some of the most important tools to help you get started.
These are the things that every homeowner needs to have. Especially when you've been budgeting for a new home, you may be tired of spending. Fortunately, you can pick up most of these products without spending a fortune.
- Screwdriver. Get at least one Phillips head screwdriver – the kind with the cross-shape – and one flat head. It’s better if you can find a screwdriver with a variety of shapes.
- Hammer. A claw-style hammer has one side you use to hammer nails into the wood and another side used to pull nails out. This style is the most versatile.
- Wrench. You’ll need a wrench to work with bolts. The typical wrench set comes with multiple sizes, but you can save money by purchasing an adjustable wrench.
- Pliers. Use pliers to grip things, twist wires, or reach for something you dropped down the drain.
- Tape measure. This will help you measure for the right size curtains or furniture.
Once you have the basics, you’ll want to pick up a few of these extra tools. They aren’t essential, but they’ll certainly make your life a lot easier.
- Power drill. Power drills have attachments that will drill holes into wood or metal, but they also have pieces that help you drill screws into wood. This makes easy work of many DIY projects.
- Level. A good level allows you to be certain you’re hanging your artwork correctly rather than just guessing with your eyes.
- Utility knife. Use this to open up packages, cut carpet edges, or chip away at dried paint.
- Allen wrench. Allen wrenches are the hexagonal wrenches typically used in putting furniture together. While most kits come with the size you’ll need, it’s helpful to have a set of these on hand for those times when you want to tighten or adjust the furniture long after you’ve lost the one it came with.
- Saws. Saws are only essential for those who are looking forward to doing serious DIY projects. A handsaw might get the job down, but power saws are better for cutting clean lines and lots of wood. Check with the home store staff about finding the right power saw for your needs.
Toolbox Items that Aren’t Really Tools
You’re probably focused on adding tools to your collection, but these items are equally important.
- WD-40. WD-40 helps things move. You’ll want this for those times when a screw is stuck, and it can help with regular maintenance on things like your snow blower blades.
- Duct tape. Duct tape is known for being strong enough to hold things together. You might not need it for repairs right away, but it’s always good to have on hand.
- Gloves. A nice pair of leather work gloves can protect your hands when you’re working on projects.
- Safety glasses. Safety glasses will protect your eyes. Use them when you’re sawing projects, unclogging a drain, or doing anything that might affect your eyes.
- Rags. You want rags on hand to quickly clean up messes without getting your everyday towels dirty.
Don’t Forget These Essentials
By this point, you should have just about everything you need, but you don’t want to forget these important items.
- Toolbox. A good toolbox helps you keep all of your tools organized. Serious DIYers may want the large style that stays in the garage, but most people appreciate the small, easily-portable style.
- Flashlights and work lights. You’ll need a flashlight to get a better look at small, poorly-lit spaces. A work light that hangs or has magnets allows you to focus the light while being able to use both of your hands. These will also come in handy if there’s a power outage.
Batteries. Keep a variety of batteries around so that you’ll never need to run out to the store for batteries at a bad time. Keep batteries stored in a cool, dry place.
If you have all the above tools in your toolbox, you’ll be well-prepared for almost any project, making them must-haves for first-time home buyers. Home goods stores typically have tool sales around Father’s Day and other popular holidays, so look at the ads and wait for a sale if you want to save some money.